The election year is beginning to heat up. And if things don’t go well for Donald Trump, we’ll be looking at a new administration headed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
It has been a long road for both of them. Biden has been trying to secure a presidential candidacy since the 1980s. And Harris was gunning for the top spot herself before she accepted the chance to be Biden’s vice president.
What happened on that long road between them will surprise even the biggest fans of Biden and Harris. Here is the unknown truth of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s unusual relationship and how it developed over the years.
Kamala Harris was friends with Joe Biden’s son
At times, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been bitter political rivals. But they have one very important thing in common: a love of Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden.
Before his untimely passing in 2015, Beau Biden was the Attorney General of Delaware while Harris was the Attorney General of California. During the foreclosure crisis, the two worked closely while negotiating with banks and trying to restore the economy.
“There were periods, when I was taking heat, that Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” Kamala Harris wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”
Later, Joe Biden revealed that Harris’s work with Beau was part of why he trusted her to be his running mate.
“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau,” he tweeted. “I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris went head-to-head in a debate
Not that long ago, it was impossible to imagine Harris as Biden’s running mate. Why? Because she came at him with everything she had during a Democratic debate.
On the second night of the second night of the first Democratic presidential primary debate, Harris wasted no time bringing up Biden’s troubling history with matters of race. She pointed out his 1970s-era opposition to mandatory busing designed to help combat segregation.
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day,” Harris memorably said. “And that little girl was me.”
Unrelenting, Harris also pointed out that Biden worked closely with various pro-segregation senators over his career. And despite the fact that he has since apologized for that, this provided another uncomfortable reminder of the times that Biden was on the wrong side of history.
But despite their clashes during the primary, this is all water under the bridge to Biden. In fact, a photographer got a shot of Biden’s notes about Harris after a press conference, back when his pick for vice president was still up in the air. Those notes read, “Do not hold grudges. Campaigned with me & Jill… Great help to campaign… Great respect for her.”
Despite the fierce debate, Biden knew Harris would be a major asset to his campaign.
At first, Harris thought Biden should be vice president
Obviously, Kamala Harris has presidential ambitions of her very own. This is why many of her fans were surprised that she accepted the nomination to be Biden’s vice president.
However, if Harris had her way, the shoe might have been on the other foot.
In May 2019, seven months before Harris ended her presidential campaign, she quipped that Biden might make a good running mate for her own presidential run.
“I think Joe Biden would be a great running mate,” Harris said after a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. “As vice president, he’s proven he knows how to do the job.
Regardless of the election results, it seems we might still see Harris run for president in the future.
RELATED: The Unknown Truth Of Kamala Harris
Biden’s allies worried about Harris’s loyalty
Much of Biden’s VP selection process was secretive. In fact, we only really know what he is thinking from occasional revelations like the photo of his notes praising Harris.
However, his allies and donors are more vocal, and many of them tried to keep her from getting the VP nomination. Why? Because they worried about her loyalty.
Most of these concerns stem from her own presidential ambitions and her brutal handling of Biden during the earlier debate.
One of Biden’s allies, a Florida businessman named John Morgan, told CNBC, “She would be running for president the day of the inauguration.” And a Chicago businessman and Biden ally who preferred to remain anonymous told CNBC, “She seems not loyal at all and very opportunistic.”
Despite these concerns, Biden seemed very confident in picking Harris. And time will tell how this decision works out.
Biden compared his relationship with Harris to his relationship with Obama
But if anyone doesn’t doubt Kamala Harris’s loyalty, it’s Joe Biden. One of Joe Biden’s more charming qualities is that he can be very blunt. And this extends to the praise that he has for Kamala Harris.
When People Magazine asked Biden about his relationship with Harris, he didn’t mince words. He said that it’s “like my relationship with Barack — we trusted each other.”
Just like that, Biden declared his one-time rival to be just as trustworthy as Barack Obama. Coming from the former vice president, this is high praise indeed!
Harris beat out 19 other candidates to be Biden’s running mate
As confident as Biden was about Harris, he still kept his options open. And that meant conducting several interviews before making his final decision.
Initially, there were 20 prospective candidates who interviewed with a search committee, including Harris. And some of the interview questions were quite interesting, including what each person thought Donald Trump’s nickname for them would be.
Eventually, the list narrowed down to 11 people that Biden personally interviewed before deciding on Harris. She beat out 19 other candidates because at the end of the day, Biden sees her as the best way to heal America.
After Harris accepted the nomination, Biden wrote to his supporters, “If we’re going to get through these crises, we need to come together and unite for a better America. Kamala gets that.”
Biden told Harris she was his VP pick in a humorous way
Love him or hate him, Joe Biden has a charmingly weird sense of humor. And this was in full display when he called Harris to offer her the job to be his running mate.
Instead of formally telling Harris she was his pick, Biden simply blurted out, “You ready to go to work?”
Harris paused a moment before replying, seemingly stunned as the gravity of what he just revealed to her sunk in.
“Oh my God,” she said. “I am so ready to go to work.”
The historic moment was captured on video and later tweeted by Biden. You can watch it below.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both tough on crime
As the Democratic debates proved, there are many issues where Biden and Harris have stood on opposite sides over the years. One thing really unites them, though: each of them has made a political career out of being “tough on crime.”
Back in 1994, Biden helped author a 1994 crime bill intended to crack down on things like drug use and drug-related crime. This bill also introduced things like a “three strikes and you’re out” policy for lifetime imprisonment of repeat offenders.
Meanwhile, Harris spent her time as California’s attorney general cracking down on crimes of every caliber. She bragged about prosecuting the parents of truant school children and went so far as to call herself the “top cop” of the state.
On paper, these “tough on crime” qualities might win over conservatives and moderates during the election. But in a year of constant protests and riots over police brutality, being tough on crime may be a bad look for more progressive voters.
Time will tell if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris become the next president and vice president. But their relationship is an interesting story of putting aside differences and celebrating mutual respect.